M-cadherin, a candidate gene for type 2 diabetes and related phenotypes in a KK/Ta mouse model

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The KK/Ta strain serves as a suitable polygenic mouse model for type 2 diabetes associated with fasting hyperglycaemia, glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinaemia, mild obesity and dyslipidaemia. Recently, we reported the susceptibility loci contributing to type 2 diabetes and related phenotypes in KK/Ta mice. In the present study, to identify susceptibility genes for type 2 diabetes and related disorders, GeneChip Expression Analysis was employed to survey the gene expression profile in the liver of KK/Ta and BALB/c mice. M-cadherin, a calciumdependent intercellular adhesion molecule, showed increased expression in the liver of KK/Ta mice, and sequence analysis revealed three missense mutations. The relationship between these polymorphisms and various phenotypes in 208 KK/Ta x (BALB/c x KK/Ta) F1 backcross mice was analysed. Statistical analysis revealed that M-cadherin exhibits linkage to levels of triglyceride and insulin in sera, glucose tolerance and body weight. Although it has been postulated that M-cadherin may be important for the regulation of morphogenesis of skeletal muscle cells, these results suggest that M-cadherin may influence hypertriglyceridaemia, glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinaemia and obesity in KK/Ta mice.

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